The Last Days of the Late, Great State of California
The Last Days of the Late, Great State of California is a novel by Curt Gentry, published in 1968 by G.P. Putnam's Sons. The novel incorporates an extensive essay on the history and culture of California from the vantage point of a future date when the state has disappeared.
The novel describes, in retrospect, the history and culture of California, and its influence on the rest of the US, after an unspecified date in 1969, wherein the state suffers a Richter scale 9 earthquake and the populous coastal regions west of the San Andreas Fault sink into the Pacific Ocean. This is in accordance with a fictional prediction by the real life psychic Edgar Cayce. After this event, the Central Valley is inundated by the sea. The novel's epilogue lists what the world must now do without, due to this event, especially the large percentage of agricultural products that come from California. The bulk of the novel consists of the description of three regions: The north, The Central Valley, and the south. An account of the 1966 California governor's electoral campaign is central to the narrative.
Also discussed in detail are the 1965 Watts riots, in detail gleaned from then-recent news reports.
As a result of its publication, some religious believers in the Los Angeles region decided to move away, in fear of its fictional events actually occurring. The turmoil surrounding the book's publication became known as the "Great California Earthquake Scare".
- Life (magazine), Nov 15, 1968, book review by David Snell, p.32d
- California Earthquakes: Science, Risk, & the Politics of hazard Mitigation, Carl-Henry Geschwind. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008, ISBN 978-0-8018-8976-9, p. 161
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